FRI 17TH APRIL: LIONS V WILDCATS PREVIEW
Friday 17 April 2015
The Copper Box Arena - 8:00pm
There is no danger of London Lions taking Durham Wildcats lightly when they arrive at the Copper Box on Friday.
Lee Davie's slipped to a 12th consecutive defeat when they were overpowered by Cheshire Phoenix last Sunday.
Lions meanwhile bounced back from a narrow reverse against Sheffield Sharks to beat Surrey United while utilising their bench for long stretches.
But having been upset 80-73 by Davie's men when they travelled to Newton Aycliffe in November, Lions coach Vince Macaulay will be on high alert to avoid a repeat performance.
"They have already beaten us so we are not going to be taking them in the least bit lightly," he said.
"They are not going to want to finish the season on the losing run they have been on so I expect them to play extremely tough when they come down here.
"We are going to be fully prepared for them and won't look one second beyond that game.
"Everybody knows about the problems that Ralph Bucci poses, but Fran Urli has played well against us in the two games we have played, and Chris Jones also."
Lions improved drastically in the second and third periods following a slow start during last Friday's defeat to Sheffield.
That reverse, however, has left the battle for fifth spot delicately poised heading into the final weekend, with Lions and Sharks in action twice while Glasgow Rocks play three times.
Macaulay added: "I didn't really think that Sheffield would be the guys we would be competing with for fifth spot to be honest because their run-in looks quite tough."
There are a number of permutations that allow Macaulay's men to secure that seed, but even if they win both contests, the capital club must still hope Rocks drop one of their remaining fixtures.
Last time they met:
Durham Wildcats 71 London Lions 83 (BBL Championship, Newton Aycliffe, 22 Mar 2015)
What they say:
Wildcats guard Ralph Bucci: "London have a lot of talented players and last game they shot extremely well. We have to try to make things more difficult for them."
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